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COVID-19’s Grim Toll Sees Record 13 Die in Greece, Cases Still Jumping

October 12, 2020

ATHENS – Unable to stop a surging second wave of COVID-19 despite more health measures, Greece saw another 280 cases on Oct. 11 with a record high 13 deaths and 93 people on ventilators, down from 100 the day before.

The total number of cases since the pandemic started in February is 22,358, with 449 deaths although fewer people are allowed in restaurants, museums and at archaeological sites around the capital and across the country in areas hard hit.

With flu season coming fast, health officials are anxious the situation could deteriorate fast, with the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ruling out a second lockdown.

“The main issue is the observance of existing measures and not the imposition of new ones,” government sources not named told Kathimerini, noting that Greece is still doing better than many other European countries in tackling the second wave of the pandemic. 

The same sources add that “if all goes well, the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine are expected by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021,” as the pandemic will collide with the height of the flu season that has been deadly too.

Health experts told the newspaper that a major reason for the new spread has been the number of people with the virus who don't show symptoms, which range from 30-50 percent of additional cases.

Data recently presented by the head of the Epidemiological Surveillance Directorate of the National Public Health Organization (EODY), Flora Kontopidou, showed that up to Sept. 14 some 2,395 cases (29.8%) had no symptoms at diagnosis and 5,640 (70.2%) were symptomatic patients. 

The mean age of the asymptomatic was 39.3 years old and of symptomatic 43.6 although in the first wave it was the elderly and those with underlying or multiple health conditions most at risk.

A serum epidemiological study by Athens University among 2,500 members of the university community showed one percent had antibodies to COVID-19, showing they were infected although 33 percent had no symptoms.

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